Entertainment

MasterChef reworks popular recipe

George Calombaris co-hosts MasterChef Australia.
George Calombaris co-hosts MasterChef Australia. Contributed - Network Ten

WITH millions of viewers tuning in to the past three series, MasterChef has solidified itself as a mainstay in Australian primetime TV.

There have been spin-offs, both within the MasterChef brand with MasterChef Jr and Celebrity MasterChef, and through the on-going success of past winners and finalists including Julie Goodwin, Poh Ling Yeow and Justine Schofield.

The fourth series of the reality cooking show starts on Sunday with the new judges' auditions in Melbourne, from which the Top 50, and ultimately the Top 24, will be chosen.

George Calombaris, who returns alongside fellow judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and regular guest judge Matt Moran, said he was looking for passionate cooks, not reality TV hopefuls.

"I want the honesty. I don't want sportsman-like answers because they know they're on TV," he said.

"Not all of them want to be chefs. Some want a van to go around to schools to teach kids how to cook; some want to open up a little shop and make artisan sausages.

"I love that they've come in and thought about what they want to do, not I just want to be on TV.

"I want people who are going to do something with this, like the Pohs, the Julias, the Alvins."

Calombaris said the new series was "refreshed and revitalised".

"We've looked at what we've done good and bad and taken that into consideration," he said.

"We're questioning everything that we do, you know, how can we make it better? Can we change that? We want Australia to fall in love with MasterChef again, like they do every year."

The day I visit the MasterChef set, the contestants are hard at work at their benches during an invention test.

Looming over them is the MasterChef clock, but the trademark black-and-white timepiece seems less imposing in real life than it does on TV.

But, of course, I'm not the one cooking.

The mouth-watering smells that keep wafting up to the balcony make me want to run downstairs and devour something, but we can only watch and salivate - the privilege of tasting is left to the judges' discerning tastebuds.

After the challenge is finished and the clean-up begins, we get a quick tour of the set.

The new and improved pantry is foodie heaven with shelves packed full of perfectly arranged vegies, fruit, meat and spices. I can't help but run my fingers along the crystal curtain which separates the cooking area from the judging area, where the results of the invention test are arranged on a table ready for tasting.

Calombaris said it was important that the various challenges and cook-offs pushed the contestants beyond their comfort zones but, at the same time, didn't set them up to fail.

"There's not going to be a twist where it's like we make it that hard that they just can't do it. It's realistic," he said.

"We want them to succeed, but they have to go through a bit of bitter to get to the sweet, a bit of pain for pleasure."

Calombaris is tight-lipped about this year's celebrity chef visits, but it has been reported that Britain's Jamie Oliver visited the MasterChef set during his visit Down Under.

"The guy's a culinary legend and he wants to be on MasterChef," he said.

"Even as an Aussie that's a nice thing that this person wants to be a part of our show."

MasterChef Australia - Ten - Sunday at 7.30pm

Topics:  george calombaris masterchef masterchef australia reality tv tv show



Essential work to start on Gwydir Highway

QGC has signed two agreements with Western Downs Regional Council to pay for $5 million worth of roadworks north west of Wandoan. Photo Tracey Joynson / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Roadworks will commence on the Gwydir Highway this month.

Ulmarra Ferry closes for maintenance

A dredge at the Ulmarra Ferry site extracts sand. Photo: Debrah Novak/The Daily Examiner

Scheduled closures to Ulmarra Ferry

Heat stress warning as mercury climbs in the Clarence

EGG-TREME HEAT: The Royal Flying Doctor Service has warned of heat stress as the Clarence Valley prepares to fry.

Grafton to hit a top of 40 degrees today

Local Partners

Barefoot Bowls to raise money for youth

Maclean Bowling Club holding Australia Day fundraiser for Clarence Valley's Ride for Youth fund


Festival director joins stars at Sundance

ACTION: Wendy Gibbs, director of the Bent Bridge Film Festival, before heading off to the Sundance Film Festival in the US.

Rubbing shoulders with celebrities at film festival

5 things to do this weekend

Lower Clarence Relay for Life Swim

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Positive signs for Clarence Valley property market

Yamba had the most expensive units and houses over the year to October.

Yamba houses sell for median of $500,000 each

Age no barrier to buying your first home

Older first home buyers are an increasing segment of the housing market.

Older buyers are a growing segment of the first home buyer market

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Rates safe from land value hike

DRIVING GROWTH: The Pacific Highway upgrade has been linked to improved land values.

Figures up in latest valuer-general report

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!